Evans Cycles
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Lubes & Cleaners
 
 
 
 
Cleaning and lubricating your bike is an essential part of getting the most out of it. A clean bike is a happy bike! Furthermore, being able to take proper care of your own bike will save you a small fortune in the long run. That’s not to say that you need to strip it down and fully service it every time you ride, but by investing in a couple of essentials you will be able to look after your components much more easily.

Cleaners

By using a cleaning product specifically designed for bike grime, the amount of effort and time taken to achieve good results is dramatically reduced. Water soluble cleaners are best as they can be rinsed away more easily, taking the dirt with them. This type of cleaner is also less harmful to the environment.

Be aware of the difference between de-greasers and cleaners. A de-greaser breaks down heavy deposits of oil or grease, ideal for cleaning chains or hub bearings but not for general cleaning of the rest of the bike. A bike cleaning solution is what is needed for this. A much less potent cleaner that can safely be applied all over, from tyres to frame tubes, helping to break down dirt, so the bike can be rinsed clean. You are likely to need both types of cleaner for optimal results.

Bike specific brushes are a great help too, as they are shaped to fit into all the hard to reach spots where dirt builds up. An example is the tiny gaps between the sprockets on the rear cassette. This can be hard to clean, but with a specifically designed brush, with stiff, long, thin bristles, you can have it sparkling again in no time. Sets of various brushes are available to cover a multitude of tasks.

Lubes

Modern synthetic lubes, specifically for bicycle use will give you the best results. There are many different types, but essentially, they can be divided into the following categories:

Greases: For use on threads and in bearings such as headsets or hubs.

Wet Lubes: Designed with maximum protection and adherence, so it will not get washed off during wet rides.

Dry Lubes: Thinner, lighter oils or wax based lubes that are designed to leave a dry, non stick coating on the component so dust and dirt will not be attracted to it. As a result components and chains will stay much cleaner.

Water Dispersing: As the name suggests these lubes, usually aerosol based, will drive out moisture, and also usually leave behind a protective coating such as PTFE or Teflon to minimise water and dirt ingress in the future.

As with cleaning products, when it comes to re-lubricating your chain and components, you are likely to need a few different lubes get the best results depending on the time of year etc. In some areas an aerosol lube might be best suited to penetrate the internal parts of a component, but be aware, use caution with aerosol oils where disc brakes are used as any over spray could contaminate the disc pads or rotor.

One golden rule to remember is never to apply fresh oil to a dirty chain! It will just form a grinding paste with the old oil and grime, which will wear out your components in no time.
 
This story was last updated on 17/01/2012